Maca: The Benefits of the Inca Secret

By November 14, 2013 February 19th, 2018 Maca

Cultures throughout the world have used herbs, roots, and supplements to increase sexual desire in men and women. For instance, tongkat ali have been a popular and powerful aphrodisiacs in Chinese traditional medicine. In Peru, the herb of choice is maca, and it has several properties that make it useful for far more than just improving male sexual activity.  So much so that Inca warriors used consumed maca before going to battle due to the powerful energy boosting properties. Maca is also known as ginseng andin, ginseng Péruvien, lepidium meyenii, lepidium peruvianum, maca maca, maca péruvien, Peruvian ginseng, and Peruvian maca, among many others.

In addition to boosting energy and helping with anemia, maca is one of the few herbs that is indicated to increase female libido.  It has also been shown to be effective in treating depression that arises from menopause.  Unfortunately, not many scientific studies have shown how or why maca works the way it does, but hundreds of years of traditional usage stand as relatively substantial proof that maca is effective.  If you are looking for an all-natural alternative to low libido or are a woman looking to boost her sex drive, then you may want to give this traditional herb a try.

What is Maca?

Maca is a root plant, related to the radish family.  It grows high in the Andes Mountains in Peru, and the root is the primary part of the plant used in traditional medicine.  Not only does maca have medicinal properties, but it is also used in cooking, having a taste and smell rather like butterscotch.  The primary active ingredients in maca are various amino acids and some fatty acids with important properties.

Uses and Benefits of Maca

This root has been used in traditional Peruvian medicine for a number of reasons.  For instance, it is known to help with anemia, or lack of red blood cells, and this may indicate why those who take it feel more energized.  When more red blood cells are present in the blood, the blood is able to carry more oxygen, and fatigue generally is relieved.  This may also be the reason that it is helpful in exercise tolerance, chronic fatigue, and athletic performance.

Where maca shines, though, is where it interacts with the sex hormones, estrogen and testosterone.  In addition to helping men improve their sexual function, it also helps with sperm quality, increasing fertility.  In women, libido is increased with maca, but it is more often used in post-menopausal women.  It helps increase sex drive in women after this point in their lives, helps with hot flashes, and decreases the incidence of depression secondary to the estrogen decrease.  Since maca so effectively treats a number of sex hormone related issues, such as erectile dysfunction and menopausal symptoms, it seems obvious that something inherent in the root does have an impact on the balance of testosterone and estrogen.  When more research is conducted into this supplement, it will be likely used as a safer alternative to hormone replacement therapy in both men and women.

Though many benefits of maca are still being studied, many people have so far reported the following effects:

Maca For Men:

  • Increases energy (Chronic Fatigue)
  • Treat sexual dysfunction (Loss of Libido)
  • Increases stamina & athletic performance
  • Nourishes glandular system
  • Fertility enhancement
  • Improves physical and emotional well being
  • Promotes mental clarity
  • Balance hormones

Maca For Women:

  • Treat PMS (Mood Swings)
  • Menopause symptom relief (Hot Flashes)
  • Sexual stimulation
  • Nourishes glandular system
  • HRT alternative(Hormone Replacement Therapy)
  • Increases stamina & athletic performance
  • Increases energy (Chronic Fatigue)
  • Balance hormones

Side Effects Of Maca

Maca has surprisingly few side effects.  Most people can tolerate the root quite well in small doses found in traditional foods of Peru.  In addition, larger doses, up to 3 grams per day for a period of three months, have not unearthed any particular side effects that could cause harm.  Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, of course, should not take maca because the research into the safety for these populations is just not available yet.  For most healthy adults, though, maca is a safe and effective way to impact the sex hormones.

The recommended dosage for increased sexual desire in men is 1500 to 3000 mg per day in three divided doses.  Some studies have shown that the lower end of the dosage range is just as effective as the higher, so you may not need to take as much of a dose.  No known interactions with maca and other medications or conditions have been studied.  As with most herbal supplements, though, if you are on a blood thinner or medication to treat a cardiovascular issue, you should exercise caution.

Where to Buy Maca?

There are many places on line to buy maca as well as your local health supplement store. We recommend you check out Herbolab’s Peruvian Black Maca. Their maca is pure 1:6 gelatinized black maca concentrate fro Peru. There are no fillers, composed of mainly dark maca roots and gelatinized at low temperatures to preserve the nutrients.


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